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Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the type where you jam every single recreation you can into every single moment. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

There’s no best to vacation. Whatever method you prefer, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their television louder and louder.

The good news is that there are a few tried and tested ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are before you go.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are a few common examples:

  • Language barriers become even more difficult: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really loud, makes it much harder.
  • You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Everybody loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Essential notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.

A number of these negative outcomes can be prevented by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s nowhere near the case! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Pre-planning is a good plan: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might need to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your recommended maintenance is up to date!

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.

  • Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? Before you travel it’s not a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so make sure you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in an extremely loud place, swimming, or showering.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very useful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you can use your phone in this way.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important that you have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

For those who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by having your hearing assessed and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And that’s true whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.